The Oklahoma Sooners have been a bit spoiled at the QB position over the past four season with Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Now Alabama Crimson Tide graduate transfer Jalen Hurts has entered the picture with his announcement of a move to Norman through The Players’ Tribune.
“I’ve decided to take my talents to the University of Oklahoma, where I will continue my development as both a quarterback and as a student”, said Hurts of the decision. “I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity, and I’m excited for the journey ahead.”
Hurts, of course, is a graduate transfer and will be immediately eligible with one season remaining. He’s immediately the favorite to win the job over redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and incoming five-star QB Spencer Rattler. Austin Kendall is also currently on the roster, but he entered the transfer portal last week.
“So to my about-to-be family in Norman, I truly appreciate you for bringing me on board. Y’all don’t know me yet……… but just for now, to introduce myself: I’m a motivated coach’s son from the Eastside of Houston, and I love to play ball.”
A 6’2”, 218-pound graduate quarterback with over 40 games of playing experience at the P5 level is a rare commodity in today’s college football. Yet for Oklahoma, that’s exactly who appears to be leading its offense in 2019. The Alabama QB who led the Crimson Tide to the national championship game in consecutive years (and also mounted an improbable comeback in the 2018 SEC Championship Game) has a resume that speaks for itself. As a high school recruit, the Houston native was rated as a four-star prospect and the nation’s fourth best dual threat QB. At Alabama, he went 26-2 as a starter during his first two seasons. In total, he completed 445 of 707 pass attempts (63%) for 5,262 yards, 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. On the ground, he recorded 1,976 rushing yards on 381 carries (5.2 yards per carry) and scored 23 touchdowns.
Since Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have led the Sooners’ offense over the last four years, Oklahoma has gained a reputation of being the place to be for quarterbacks looking to revitalize their career or take it to the next level. Living off of transfers isn’t something OU or any other program should strive for on a regular basis, but it’s also not something that should ever be written off entirely. One thing’s for sure, there wasn’t another signal caller on the transfer market who has as much experience playing in big games and performing against the level of talent that Jalen Hurts can tout.
I, for one, can’t wait to see what Riley and Hurts have in store for us in 2019.